ECO-Leader Designation Questionnaire

The ECO-Leader Designation provides recognition for environmentally-conscientious businesses that use best management practices to lessen their footprint on the Maurice River Watershed. Designated Eco-Leaders are committed to preserving community health and promoting economic growth by making a concerted effort to conserve energy, reduce water consumption, manage storm water ecologically, improve water and soil quality, and create habitat.

Read the checklist. Respond "yes" or "no" regarding whether you have incorporated these eco-friendly actions into your land management routine or included green infrastructure on your property.

  • Each yes answer is the equivalent of one stewardship point, while no responses represent opportunities to expand on your best management practices.
  • Prospective candidates for designation are those who answer yes to multiple actions in one or more categories and are working on expanding their stewardship in others.
Business Name
Name of Contact
Property Address
City
E-mail
Phone


Eligibility


Is your company interested in protecting the community's environmental health and economic vitality?
Based on the map below, is your place of business located within the Maurice River Watershed?
If you answered yes to both questions, your business is eligible for ECO-friendly designation. Answer the questions below to apply.

Maurice River watershed map

1. Energy Conservation

We are lowering our footprint on air and water quality by...
conducting yearly maintenance of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems
changing or cleaning HVAC filters every 30 days during peak use months
blocking western and eastern windows from direct sun during summer by using awnings, shade trees, exterior solar screens, and/or solar films
lowering or turning off the heating or air-conditioning when no one is in the facility
turning off lights when not in use or installing motion-sensor lights and/or energy-efficient exit signs
reminding employees to turn off computers and other electronics at night
using natural daylight when possible
replacing incandescent light bulbs with LEDs
upgrading from T12 fluorescent light bulbs to T8s or T5s
reducing light pollution (i.e. shielded lighting) and energy waste from over-lighting of parking area
reducing light pollution (i.e. shielded lighting) and energy waste from over-lighting of parking area
updating kitchen appliances with energy-efficient models when replacement is needed
installing a Cool Roof that reflects solar energy better than standard black roofs and reduces energy used for cooling
increasing daylighting (natural light) by adding windows, skylights, solar tubes, and/or reconfiguring offices
choosing light-colored paints and materials for walls, floors, and ceilings to increase daylighting efficiency
controlling daylight glare through the use of blinds, sun shades, light shelves, etc
purchasing Green Power from your local utility

2. Water Conservation

We preserve local drinking water supplies by...

OUTDOORS

reducing grass cover and choosing native plants that require little watering
watering remaining grass on an as-needed basis versus a set schedule
watering before 9 am or after sunset
avoiding watering on very hot, windy or rainy days
periodically checking that in-ground sprinklers are watering intended areas
installing an irrigation system that is controlled by a moisture-sensing device
collecting rainwater to be used in watering planting beds
installing riparian buffers along water bodies with native vegetation
bringing company vehicle(s) on an as-needed basis to a car wash that recycles water
ensuring that grounds keepers leave grass and leaf clippings in place, raise lawn mowers to 3-4 inches high, and sweep instead of using water to clean pathways and driveways

INDOORS

conducting a company water use audit to understand where water demand can be reduced
prioritizing the repair of leaking faucets, pipes, and toilets
taking pointed actions to curb overall employee water waste indoors
updating and maintaining cooling and heating systems to minimize water needs and save energy
installing aerators and low-flow or motion-sensing faucets in bathroom and kitchen areas
replacing outdated toilets and urinals with more water-efficient ones
using tap water and/or a water filter instead of bottled drinking water
purchasing products/furnishings produced with renewable energy and recycled materials

3. Reducing Water Pollution

We reduce the amount of contamination flowing off the property by...

ECOLOGICAL LANDSCAPING

reducing lawn cover by planting native species that require fewer pesticides and fertilizers
using native trees for shade tree considerations
maintaining the health of mature trees, thereby extending their longevity
reducing use of chemical fertilizers by testing soil before deciding on a fertilizer, calibrating spreader before each use, following label instructions, switching to organic alternatives, and cleaning spills immediately and/or confirming that the lawn service provider is following these basic eco-friendly practices
reducing the use of chemical herbicides by employing organic products to spot treat only, and/or weeding by hand, and/or requiring the lawn service provider to use these options
reducing the use of pesticides by adopting integrated pest management (IPM) practices, or prioritizing the use of IPM when choosing a pest management company

GREEN PARKING LOT

maximizing green area in parking lots through replacing rarely used parking spots with native flowers, bushes, and trees and/or turf grids
removing exotic flora species and replacing them with native ones and/or planting bare areas with native flora
shading paved areas with native large canopy trees
creating planting islands and perimeter gardens using native plants
installing planting boxes with native flowers, trees, and bushes along sidewalks
avoiding the use of road salts after snowfall and selecting salt-free de-icers
keeping snow piles at least 100’ away from streams and floodplains, and piling snow in areas that will allow the melt to soak into the ground
scheduling street sweeping to remove residual salts from parking areas

RUN-OFF REDUCTION

promoting the flow of rainwater off paved areas into bio-retention areas like bio-swales, storm water planter boxes, tree trenches, rain gardens, planting islands, and native flora perimeter gardens
replacing impermeable surfaces with porous ones like pavers, plastic grids, and porous asphalt/concrete, or using these options in original design
including curb cuts to allow water to run into green areas
incorporating depressions along remaining impermeable surfaces and using native plants to enhance them
using landscape contours to keep storm water perking into the soil
disconnecting downspouts and extending them into garden beds or installing a downspout planter(s)
using rain barrels/cisterns to catch water from downspouts and reusing it in green areas
storing de-icing material on pads and under cover away from rain and storm water flow paths and storm drains
monitoring septic tanks annually and servicing them every 3-5 years

INDOORS

switching to biodegradable and/or organic hygiene products and cleaning agents
disposing of medicines, paints, cleaners, oils, and other contaminants properly

4. Creating Stop-over Habitat Between Natural Areas

Our facility or property provides shelter, food and water for native wildlife communities by…

SHELTER

re-creating the characteristics of nearby natural habitat on the property
building a brush pile
installing, maintaining, and monitoring avian nesting boxes
leaving leaf litter and dried plants on the property over winter as mulch
planting native flora species
maintaining or planting a layered arboretum
leaving dead and/or fallen trees to decay when safe

FOOD

reducing lawn cover and replacing it with native nectar plants
planting native flora species that are hosts for specialized fauna species
incorporating a variety of native vines, trees, and bushes that bear fruits and berries
planting native flora species that provide a source of seeds and nuts, and leaving them to stand through the hard winter months
planting native flora species that bear cones and sap

WATER

installing vernal pool(s) (a fishless pond simulating natural aquatic habitat that dries up each season to fill up again in the spring)
maintaining a variety of birdbaths throughout the year, changing water every 5 days to avoid mosquito breeding

ERADICATING INVASIVE SPECIES

buying only native flora species and no exotic varieties
researching the native range, benefits, and disadvantages of each new flora species incorporated into the business’s landscaping
removing invasive flora species and disposing of them appropriately
supporting local native plant nurseries
keeping gutters clean and free of standing water to avoid breeding mosquitoes

5. Creating a Culture of Watershed Stewardship

We make a difference for community health by…
making an effort to share our green infrastructure initiatives with other business and large tract owners
being an advocate for water protection with peers, staff, customers, and visitors
creating an energy-efficient work culture by engaging the employees in an ongoing dialogue about energy conservation
supporting policies promoting watershed health, preservation of natural areas, and the fight against climate change
volunteering or donating to local watershed and environmental organizations